NASCAR: Key 2023 driver announcement looming

Daniel Suarez does not have a contract with Trackhouse Racing Team to compete in the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series season, but that should change soon.

NASCAR Cup Series silly season for 2023 is well underway. After the 2022 season’s first four months saw just one driver sign a new deal for next year, multiple deals were signed late last month.

And there are surely more to come.

One such deal which is sure to come is a contract extension for Daniel Suarez at Trackhouse Racing Team. Suarez has driven the #99 Chevrolet since the Justin Marks and Pitbull-owned team entered the Cup Series last year.

There were some questions about what Marks would decide to do with the #99 Chevrolet if Suarez, who entered the season with no wins in five seasons in the Cup Series, didn’t manage to win before the 2022 season ended, especially since Ross Chastain, whom the team signed as their second driver following their post-2021 acquisition of Chip Ganassi Racing, has had immediate success behind the wheel of the #1 Chevrolet.

However, the pairing of Suarez and Trackhouse Racing Team is one of those driver/team pairings that seems too good to bring to an end, especially after just two seasons.

And after several close calls, Suarez broke through last month and earned his first career Cup Series victory at Sonoma Raceway. Following that victory, team president Ty Norris confirmed that re-signing the 30-year-old Mexican is practically a formality.

Norris stated that there is a “100% chance” that Suarez will re-sign with the team for the 2023 season, and likely beyond. Perhaps most interestingly, he added that this victory had no bearing on whether or not the team would offer him an extension for next season.

So it’s only a matter of time before this announcement is officially made.

It’s not hard to believe, either. While Suarez’s statistics haven’t been as good as those of teammate Ross Chastain, who leads the series in top five finishes and is tied for the series lead in wins and top 10 efforts in his first year with the team, has he has had a career year.

Through 17 races, he has already led more laps this season (203) than he has in any other full 36-race season, and that includes three seasons with top-tier organizations in Joe Gibbs Racing and Stewart-Haas Racing.

Additionally, he has three top five finishes and five top 10 finishes this year, statistics that are higher than his numbers in those categories during his first full season with Trackhouse Racing Team last year.

So it’s not official yet, but there is no reason not to expect the two-car team currently tied for the Cup Series lead in average wins per driver (1.5) to continue with the same driver lineup in 2023.